National Advertising Division (NAD)
NAD Finds Certain Environmental Benefit Claims for Blueland’s Cleaning Products Supported; Recommends Modification or Discontinuation of Others
New York, NY – October 7, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that One Home Brands, Inc. d/b/a Blueland provided a reasonable basis for claims that its cleaning tablet wrappers are biodegradable and compostable, yet NAD recommended that Blueland discontinue unqualified recyclability claims for its Forever bottles and modify other environmental benefit claims. NAD also recommended that Blueland discontinue certain challenged comparative cleaning performance and safety claims.
The claims at issue, which appeared on the advertiser’s website and in social media advertising, were challenged by The Clorox Company, maker of competing cleaning products.
This challenge involved claims for the advertiser’s cleaning products, which are designed to eliminate the need for single-use plastic by replacing some of the items traditionally sold in disposable plastic bottles with reusable bottles and dry replacement tablets. Consumers purchase cleaning “kits” from the Blueland website to make the cleaning products at home by combining dry tablets and water. Consumers can then fill and re-fill the reusable bottles as needed.
NAD considered the messages reasonably conveyed by Blueland’s use of the term “forever” to describe its bottles and determined that it is not misleading because consumers will understand the term to mean that the bottles can be used over and over again, provided that they are used as intended and with reasonable care, and because Blueland offers to replace any broken bottles free of charge. NAD also determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for claims that its Forever bottles are shatterproof.
Regarding the advertiser’s environmental benefit claims, NAD determined that the advertiser had provided a reasonable basis for claims that its tablet wrappers were both biodegradable and compostable.
However, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim, “every piece of packaging – from our tablet wrapper, shipping materials, our Forever Bottles (which aren’t intended for you to recycle) – is 100% recyclable,” as well as its use of unqualified recyclability claims for the Forever bottles. NAD also recommended that the advertiser modify its recyclability claims to clarify that, in the instances where a Forever bottle fails, it is only recyclable through Blueland’s take-back program.
Nothing in this decision precludes the advertiser from making appropriately qualified claims that other components of Blueland packaging, such as its shipping materials, are recyclable.
NAD also recommended that:
- The advertiser modify the claim “better for your home and our planet” to clearly indicate the specific environmental benefits of its packaging.
- The advertiser discontinue the claim “bad for germs, good for earth” claim or modify it to identify the specific ways in which its products and packaging are “good for the earth.”
NAD reviewed the advertiser's test reports and determined that the advertiser’s evidence did not provide a reasonable basis for cleaning performance claims that its products “eliminated more grease and grime than leading comparable brands” and “outperformed the leading brands in efficacy tests completed at third party labs” and, therefore, recommended that the claims be discontinued.
NAD also recommended that the advertiser discontinue the challenged comparative safety claims “all without harmful chemicals” and “we also don’t use traditional disinfecting ingredients (like chlorine bleach or quaternary ammonium compounds) that may be harmful if ingested, so not great for kitchen and dining surfaces.”
Finally, during the course of the challenge, the advertiser informed NAD that it had permanently discontinued all advertising which implied that its surface cleaner products are disinfectants (e.g., “effectively eliminate bacteria and viruses”). Therefore, NAD did not review these claims on their merits. The advertiser also stated that it revised its advertising materials to more clearly distinguish between its hand soap advertising and surface cleaner advertising.
NAD noted that it appreciates Blueland’s commitment to make these changes to future advertising and recommended that Blueland also remove or revise any previous publicly-available social media (including comments from its customer service representatives) that state or imply disinfection abilities for its surface cleaners.
In its advertiser’s statement, Blueland stated that it will comply with NAD’s recommendations. Further, Blueland stated that it “is glad to revise its marketing materials to come into full compliance with the technical aspects of NAD’s guidance, while keeping its primary focus on its essential core mission of eliminating single-use plastic from everyday household products and offering consumers effective products that come in sustainable packaging and include safe ingredients.”
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.